Just a month after word came that Facebook was working on buying the Titan Aerospace the 20-person drone maker, Google snatches it up for an undisclosed sum. Facebook wanted to purchase Titan Aerospace drone making company and had been in talks to acquire the Titan Aerospace earlier this year for a reported $60 million. But Google has suddenly beat them to it and paid more to keep Titan Aerospace away from Facebook.
It sounds like Titan will work on a variety of projects for Google. Facebook recently purchased Ascenta, a UK-based startup that also make drones — for $20 million. Now, drone maker Titan Aerospace has a posting on Titan’s barebones Web site: “We’re thrilled to announce that Titan Aerospace is joining Google.”
The drone company says it expects “initial commercial operations” to start in 2015. The aircraft, which will fly as high as 12 miles in the sky, are expected to have a long-term aerial lifespan of five years.
Google says, the drones’ primary function will be to help send Internet to places without a current connection at speeds as high as 1 gigabit per second, which — matching the speeds of fiber-delivered Internet — outranks many developed countries. The US averages only 7.2 megabits per second as of 2014
For Facebook, the plan is to ultimately create more users of its social network. For Google, it’s a more visible cycle of creating new users of its products and services and search engine. From here on out, the battle between tech giants is no longer just over your smartphone and its OS, your search engine of choice, or the destination of your online social life’s most valuable, ad-targeted assets. The fight has gone to space, and it’s not likely to remain so uncrowded as more and more large corporations start snatching up companies like Titan Aerospace and Ascenta in the future.